In-house options allowed Washington Nationals to be patient while negotiating with Adam LaRoche-MLB
Washington Nationals’ General Manager, Mike Rizzo, has stated that they were in strong bargaining position while they negotiated with first baseman, Adam LaRoche.
For the same reason, the Nationals clinched the desired deal with him, signing LaRoche for just two years, as opposed to the length of the agreement that he wanted in the beginning.
The Nationals had other options available for first base, in case LaRoche did not return.
For example, they had Michael Morse, who was to be shifted to first base from the outfield. Rizzo has mentioned this fact, while he claimed that they had in-house options ready to be used as substitutes for LaRoche.
Certainly, the deal is not an ideal one for LaRoche by many accounts, as he always expressed the desire to get something around a three-year agreement.
By the time the offseason started, he tested the free agency, fully confident of being offered the kind of contract he was looking for in the market from interested organisations.
As he met the disappointment in this regard, he had to bring down his expectations reluctantly.
All in all, he will be happy for having come back to the organisation where he enjoyed amazing success last year.
LaRoche was outstanding for the Nationals during the last season, as he won the Silver Slugger Award and the Gold Glove honour.
By many accounts, his consistent shows were the reason why the Nationals easily survived the phase, which saw some of their established batters injured.
As for the contract, Rizzo has talked about the way the negotiations went through over the last couple of weeks. He has mentioned the fact that they did not panic at any stage of the talks for the fear of losing LaRoche.
"We were in a pretty enviable position negotiating-wise because our other option was already under contract and in-house," Rizzo said. "And that allowed us to be so patient with Adam. We're certainly not going to give him away. But if we can make the right
deal that works for Mike and for us as a franchise, we'll certainly do that deal."
Inclusion of LaRoche has strengthened the offence of the Nationals immensely.
It will be interesting to see how it affects performance of the team in the upcoming season.